Hot Springs, AR—Jerry Van Dyke, the less-talented, but still beloved younger brother of Dick Van Dyke, died Friday at his ranch. He was 86. His wife said he had been in declining health since a car accident two years prior.
Best known for his role as Assistant Coach Luther Van Dam on ABC’s “Coach” alongside Craig T. Nelson from 1989 to 1997, Van Dyke also appeared on television in shows like “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “That 70s Show” and “The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon.”
On the big screen, he appeared in such films as “McLintock,” “Palm Springs Weekend,” “RECOiL” and “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.”
He is survived by his second wife, Shirley and two children.
On occasion, with the help of certain Canadian super agents we know who live in Los Angeles, we get invites to various movie premieres and awesome parties. But we didn’t want to big-time you, our readers, when experiencing the latest “Star Wars” flick. We wanted to experience it the same way as you coal miners, dishwashers and blue-collar workers that make up our core audience: in the trenches with tickets we bought ourselves, with holes in the seats and dried Coke on the floor.
And so we went opening night to experience the latest installation of the saga and sat in the last row of the theater at a 10:30 showing on a regular, non-Imax, non-3D screen.
And it was pretty good. It was by far the funniest “Star Wars” film. No doubt. Keep reading for the plot, and at the end of the piece, I’ll give you all the spoilers you can handle.
We must admit we never saw the beginning of this film coming at the end of the last one. When Rey finds Luke at the top of his island mountain home that the Swiss Family Robinson would envy, he is so depressed at how Ben Solo/Kylo Ren turned out and all the mistakes he made over the course of his life, that he is this close to ending it all. He is certain that everyone in his life would have been better off if he’d never been born.
But in comes his guardian angel, Rey. She spends the next 152 minutes showing Luke exactly how worse off everyone would have been had he not been born: his wife Mary would have been a spinster all her life; his old boss, Mr. Gower, would have done time when he botched a prescription for a kid’s medicine had Luke not caught it; and all those people on the Navy transport that his little brother saved by shooting down that kamikaze pilot would have died had Luke not jumped in the frozen lake to save him when they were kids.
I somehow glossed over a lot of the important stuff in Luke’s early life, I guess I need to go back and watch the other films this weekend.
But overall, Rey does a great job showing Luke why he shouldn’t jump off that bridge, earning her own wings in the process. It was a truly feel-good movie all around.
Now for the promised spoilers:
The identity of Supreme Leader Snoke is revealed. He is Keyser Soze.
“Rosebud” is shown to be the name Luke gave to his lightsaber.
We find out who Rey’s parents are thanks to an unexpected cameo by Maury Povich. They are Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.
“Star Wars Episode I” is shown to be, in reality, just a long dream experienced by Pamela Ewing. The movie ends with Patrick Duffy in the shower.
If you do end up ruining the movie for your loser friends before they watch it, go ahead and blame Jar Jar Binks. That’s what we do.
You are now informed. Go and do likewise.